Why You Should Do Your Industry Homework
Trying to find a new (or better) job can be an all-consuming process, and you can spend hours crafting the perfect cover letter and targeting your resume to the position before you even apply. When you get an interview, it may seem like all your work is done, and it’s time to wow an HR professional. You know who you’re applying with and basically what you’re doing, so why would you need to know more? It turns out there’s a ton of reasons why doing a little research into your prospective employer can improve your chances of landing the job. Let’s look at the top three reasons to do your industry homework before an interview.
1. Having information on the company shows that you have initiative, and you’re interested in contributing to the company’s goals.
Companies don’t want employees that are just there for a paycheck. They need people who care about what they’re doing individually and what the company is doing as a whole. You can show the interviewer that you’re one of those people by knowing what the company’s goals are and having some ideas about how you can further those goals. This also shows the interviewer that you’re a go-getter who’s not afraid to work independently.
2. Knowing the company’s values and industry standards let you target your answers to that specific job.
Interviewers love candidates that are prepared, professional, and have specific answers to their interview questions. When you know exactly what the organization does (and hopefully a little about how they do it), you can show the interviewer how your skills and experience will fit in concrete ways. For example, if you read on the company website that one of their core values is customer service, you can emphasize your customer service experience in the interview.
3. It helps you know whether you want to work for them for the foreseeable future!
Sure, we all need money to live, and jobs pay you money, but you don’t want to hate going to work every day and then quit after a few months. Of course, the company doesn’t want this either; they want employees who are happy and excited about their work and the environment they’re in. When you dive into the company, their values, their day to day operations, and their goals, you can better decide if it’s the right fit for you.
A job interview is the first impression you make with a company, so why wouldn’t you want to make the best impression possible? Doing your homework on a potential employer positions you as a candidate who is intelligent, diligent, and serious about their career.
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